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Making Home Work

What's the best way to balance your homebased business and your family life? Start by figuring out your style.

This story appears in the February 2005 issue of Start Up.

Q: I fear my homebased business isn't very organized, because I seem to work from everywhere in the house. I keep thinking I should find one place for everything and just work there. I have a spare room that I set up as my office, but between my laptop and cordless phone, and with my kids and many household activities, I'm just not in the office that much. Would I be more organized if I could get myself to work in the office?

A: We used to believe it was best to run a homebased business from a distinctly separate space in your home. But in the course of writing The Entrepreneurial Parent with Lisa Roberts, we conducted a survey of 606 parents who were working from home. To our surprise, we found that only about 33 percent were what we call "segregators," people who keep their home-office activities separate from the rest of their households. Like you, most parents (55.5 percent) are what we call "integrators." They thrive on weaving their home businesses into the rest of their household activities. About 8 percent do some of each.

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